GROSSE POINTE WOODS – Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron has announced that Pope Benedict XVI has conferred the title of “Monsignor” upon eight Detroit-area priests, including Gary Smetanka, pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe Woods.
A prayer service to commemorating this honor for all the new monsignors will be held at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, with a reception following.
The honorary title of “monsignor” is given to Roman Catholic priests as a sign of appreciation and recognition of the service they have rendered, both locally and in the world. Including those newly named, 34 of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s 400-plus active and retired diocesan priests hold the title of “monsignor.”
In addition to his ministry at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Monsignor Smetanka serves as chairman for the Archdiocese of Detroit Worship Commission, and as a coordinator of priest funeral liturgies. He also has served as the Archdiocese of Detroit’s assistant master of ceremonies, on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral (Priests) Council, and as a faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. Father Smetanka has been the pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea since 2008.
He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Detroit on December 11, 1982 and recently celebrated his 30th anniversary with his parish and parish school.